tv The Dylan Ratigan Show MSNBC January 6, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
we're going, again, across the country, all winter long. i, will be -- >> dylan, how will your tour differ from the announcement today on alex wagner's show now with herman cain's 9-9-9 tour to restore america? >> there's really only one basic difference. herman cain's 9-9-9 plan is really just a moronic 3-year-old trying to market something. the arbitrary assertion of some set of numbers as if magically adopting 2-2-2. remember when "there's something about mary," and he says, i've got a genius way to kill the 6-minutes abs, the 7-minute abs. 30 million jobs is the scale of the problem we have. there's no human being, i can't do it, no one knows how to create 30 million jobs. but we do know if we create an
orchestral environment, an environment with low-cost, high input education and health, and i set those marks, and i say, we have tax, trade, banking reform, policy proposals that can drive money into those cradles of innovation -- >> they will create jobs. >> then jobs grow like fruit in a garden, my friend. i don't know if herman cain can run for president with the fruit in the garden narrative, but i know it's at least not so -- the 9-9-9 thing, it entertains me. and i've debated going with 8-8-8. >> why don't you go now with your show? >> we'll do it. >> good man. well, good friday afternoon to you. nice to see you. i am dylan ratigan, today's big story as it will likely be nor the next ten months until the election day, a discussion about jobs. but whether we'll actually talk about the fact that money's
getting sucked out of our country preventing them from happening, that's up to me, because our politicians don't want to talk about it. they want to pretend it's the other thing. the numbers for december do tell a base story of improvement over the dismal numbers we've been getting for the past three years. that is a modestly good sign. i will give you that. 200,000 jobs added in december, certainly better than the so-called experts have been participating. but the reported, the quoted government line lei, if you will, unemployment rate at 8.5%. however, the actual number of human beings in this country who don't have a job or are not able to find the work that they seek in a meaningful way is closer to one out of five. 18%. but people like to talk about that, because 30 million jobs. remember, we need 30 million. not 100,000. so that means you've got to have a whole apparatus. you can't be like, oh, do this. one tax code, one thing. in order to get 30 million jobs
in our country, we are doing our little part and launching off january 18th with our 30 million jobs tour on "the d.r. show." we'll get into a lot of this over the course of our road tour this winter. but back today's numbers and, of course, the politicians in this auction 2012 race we're discussing today. >> this morning, we learned that american businesses added another 212,000 jobs last month. >> today's unemployment numbers are a pretty good indicator that we are a very, very long way from being a healthy economy. >> i'm very gratified to see that in spite of president obama's policies, that the job market is beginning to pick up a little bit. >> this president doesn't understand how this economy works. it's time to get a president who does. >> well, with only in america in 2012 does an 8.5% fake unemployment rate put your country on the right track. remember, an additional 194,000 people gave up looking for jobs. so if you're wondering why the number got better, it got better because the economy had a little bit of strength, it was the holidays, and a bunch of people
just gave up looking. ultimately, the question is whether that december little holiday spike will be as good as it gets or whether we will start to see the return of real robust hiring in this country as a result of real investment and real deployment in our energy, in our infrastructure, dealing with our health issues or not. no answer that question, our friday jobs team joins us. peter morici, former chief economist for the international trade commission and professor at the university of maryland smith school of business and msnbc contributor jared bernstein, senior fellow at the center of budget and policy priorities, as well as vice president biden's former chief economist and two old friends of mine from the cnbc days, for that matter, as well. jared, in this world, you only have to be better than the other guy. so if you're the president, you just have to be better than whoever wants to be the president. i sit here, obviously, and will criticize all parties relative to a standard that i hold at 30 million jobs. but through the lens of being
the president of the united states, how does this number compare and how does it work for him relative to his opponents? >> through that lens, i think it's good. and i think that the president has had a good week. he's going around the country explaining how he's fighting for the middle class. he appointed someone to head the consumer financial protection bureau, so we can get that up and running. he's got a little bit of wind in his sails in terms of momentum on the jobs front. and i completely agree that a much more comprehensive plan is needed to get the kind of truly robust measures we need. that said, the trend is clearly his friend right now, whether it's jobs or the unemployment rate. levels -- >> peter -- >> levels are still a problem, but trend, moving in the right direction. >> peter, let's talk about this number itself for a second and we'll scale back out. how much of the strength we saw in december is a function of repeating or sustainable economic activity? how much of it is a function of seasonal activity associated with the holiday, that's a one-time bump because it's ho holiday time. and how much of it is a function that people fell off the end of
the bus at the back end and stopped looking? what's the proportionality of what's going on with this number? >> well, it's really a bit of each. to give the president some credit, things were better, but we're quite concerned that in the first quarter, things are going to slow down again, and that we'll be looking at job gains that are much smaller, especially after january. because these things come with a lag. a lot of people have gotten off the bus. you know, the adult participation rate is significantly lower than when president obama took office. if the same proportion of adults were out there looking for a job, as there were in january, you know, with 2009, the unemployment rate would be about 10.2%. you know, finally, a lot of the people that are employed are, you know, basically in home-based businesses, where they're partially engaged, and so they don't count. but it's not very healthy in that regard. >> so, jared, let's talk about the presidential debate, the republican debate, and the president's narrative. obviously. we're going to talk about jobs, in some capacity, over the
course of the debates. how can we move this from my plan is better than your plan and i've got a million jobs and you've got a million jobs, to this is really where this will go there naturally. the media will go with it. the politicians want to take us there. we know that jobs are a function of money and people mixing around ideas and initiating new business formation or other form of growth, and that that growth can't be manufactured through a private or public linear policy, that it is an environment, an ecosystem, a cradle, if you will, that creates that. how do we get a debate around a series of policies? tax, trade, bank, the policies that would do these sorts of things? >> it's a fairly tall order, because we frankly haven't had the debate we need to have. i will tell you one way that would help a lot, though. i think we have to disparage this idea of supply-side economics every time it comes up. and every single republican candidate is playing from that supply-side playbook. i'm not saying that the
president has the architecture that you've laid out either, but i am saying that he certainly understands the need for greater demand. what i hear from the republican side consistently is essentially the george w. bush playbook. if you just give a bunch of goodies to people at the top, then they'll create more economic activity. it will -- it's trickle-down economics. and all that's ever done has made wealth trickle up. >> let's back up to 60,000 feet, professor morici. we are in the seem of this traditional from the industrial era to the digital era. the mechanism of problem solving, the ability to observe and view and analyze discreet data, hot spotting, all these things, these new things. are we capable -- is our government capable of adapting to these new paradigms, so we can move away from two bad choices, basically? where you get one choice, and you're like, that's nonsense,
and you get another choice that's either more nonsense or just as much nonsense. in other words, can we get to a real conversation? >> well, we need to move away from this notion that the government can fix it. what the government can do is create environments where markets work again. i think you'd agree that the capital markets right now are dysfunctional. you know, 60%, 70% of the deposits in the united states are controlled by the -- >> it's insane. >> so we need to break up the big banks so there's competition in the capital market. we need to take a different view of free trade. free trade, that's great. but we've got to make sure our guys get to play on a level playing. that's why corporations have $2 trillion on their books or whatever it is, no one really knows how much it is, that they won't invest. simply because the environment in the united states is not as good as it should be. and finally, this notion that through regulation you can constantly keep bad things from happening is wrong. what you have to do is create
within the market place count counterveiling power so people regulate each other. >> or capital requirements. there's no better moderator for a capitalist other than the fact that the money must be there. we talk about it in "greedy bastard$!." we talk about capital requirements is like the water in a nuclear reactor. >> it's funny -- >> go ahead, jared. >> it's funny. as i recall, the last time we had this discussion, we ended in precisely the same place. capital requirements are a critically important backstop. one thing on the trade thing. one of the problems we have right now, whenever we're talking about trade, we only talk about exports. what really matters is net exports. and i'm not saying anything about protectionism. i don't think we need to build walls or block imports from coming in. but i do think we have to have, as i think peter mentioned, a level playing field. and that means anyone out there that's managing their currencies to get an unfair advantage is demonstrably hurting our -- in
the rest of the world. >> and that's specifically china. let us not fool ourselves. talk to you guys sooner than later. thank you for being with us. thank you for being with me up to this point and i look forward to this presidential election, guys. we're going to learn a lot, i think. jared bernstein, peter morici. now to our 30 million jobs tour, as we're hitting the road once again to look at the scope of this problem. we're going to start on january 18th. we'll head to northern california and america's really original cradle of innovation. money, ideas, universities, getting together to solve problems, creating jobs. after our three days in northern california on january 25th, we head to southern florida, as we'll dissect the dysfunctional political system in 2012, just before the florida primaries. also be able to look at the health care apparatus while we're there. and in early february, we'll go to the belly of the beast, washington, d.c. on february 8th, we'll head to austin, texas, for three days. another cradle of innovation, i might add, to show how we do
have people, we do have the money, and we certainly have the problems. we simply don't have the proper environment mixing the money and the people to solve them. we'll show you how to make america a more dynamic economic power. something to restore some of that dynamism. and on february 22nd, we'll turn the 30 million jobs tour toward the class of 2012, as we'll head to three great universities throughout the midwest and look at the hopes and dreams of those graduates as they face a future certainly riddled with uncertainty, but also possibility, i might add. and we can't wait to hit the road again. i hope you will join us as we set upon america this winter. as weapon continue here today, on this jobs friday, remember this number. 7.2%. that the number gaining the attention of both the president and his republican opponents. also ahead, the answers to a better life at work and at home. here is a hint -- they're all around you! plus, these pictures --
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president out today touting his jobs plan and the new fake unemployment numbers. they're not so much fake, but just that we use the wrong gauge and pretend it's the right one. no president since fdr has won re-election with an unemployment number above 7.2% on fake gauge. republicans fully aware of that as they continue in their race to the bottom like horny toads seeking the worst possible environment known to man. the next auction, three days
away in new hampshire, where a romney victory is more or less sewn up. but just in case you don't for the final results, near to the, my friends. grandpa, a 39-year-old psychic spider monkey will be predicting the winner by picking from a group of bananas with candidate names scrawled on them. i suspect he'll probably also go with romney as the ntrade and other markets have. if grandpa could also come up with a plan for 30 million jobs, we'd be all ears. our friday mega panel is here. ari melber, krystal ball, and rob cox. do you like when you call the republicans horny toads? >> i did get a kick -- >> but i call the democrats equally horrible things. it's a comparable art. you were in this jobs conversation. i'm trying to illustrate to people whether it's the edp gauge or the gdp gauge, the
metrics are outdated and we should improve them. you've brought a gauge where we can pretend gdp is this and inflation is that and see what we might do. it's like a present. >> show and tell. >> maybe grandpa, the psychic -- >> right, dylan. we put together a calculator. this isn't our -- >> we, reuters? >> we, reuters, breaking views, my colleague, richard biels, a real whiz kid. he used a yale university professor, he's got a formula that says you can predict the winner of a presidential race, using a couple of simple economic variables. we simplified that even further. so what you can do is enter in basically three things. you can enter in gdp growth. that's personal income, but we use gdp growth per capita, and you can look at it whether it's 2%, 3%, 5%, at 2.5%, it's the number we're using. that's sort of what people are
expecting. >> and the point is that basically this is a calculator for, for instance, obama's advisers, valerie jarrett. they're like, do you think we're going to get re-elected? they're like, i don't know, let's get the calculator out and enter in the numbers. let me go to my political analyst, what are your twos' view on the statistical analyst that always go on. if the employment rate is high, he'll center stand a chance. how valid are those assertions? and ultimately, how valid is a machine like this? >> i think they're very useful. obviously, the classic recently example is when george w. bush -- or george bush senior, i mean, won the persian gulf war. a 90% approval in the economy took it all away. so i do think even big, huge widespread support for a president can evaporate in the economy. but what i want to say -- wait, that's the part agreeing with you. you've got to let me disagree with you too and i'll be done. my disagreement with you, rob,
all of these models as a matter of probability assume that nothing crazy will happen. that is to say, they don't have any number for what happens if you catch the biggest terrorist, you know, that we have -- >> but we did that. >> or what happens the a grassroots movement comes out of nowhere and changes -- >> defending the constitutional amendment. >> it's like the model always works until it doesn't work. and everybody says, oh, this special thing happened. and one thing -- and that's not to say win mean, i'm very interested in looking at the model. but one thing i wanted to pull out from your lead-in is you were saying no president has gotten re-elected under 7.2, but it was reagan who was elected with 7.2, and he was handedly elected. >> handedly elected by virtue of mike dukakis. so the suggestion that reagan the issue >> but we have some michael dukakises running on the can -- >> you mean mondale? >> mondale, sorry. >> one thing i wanted to ask you about, rob -- >> hard to tell the difference.
>> do you have the unemployment number feeding into this, or is it -- it's all growth? it's all change? >> the unemployment number -- unemployment -- or gdp growth, personal income growth, that is certainly going to be a function of whether people have jobs. >> i want to talk about some other things. you guys catch the big news out of zuccotti park last night? >> no, what was the big news? >> big news. so they had a general assembly in zuccotti park at the occupation, original site where they passed a consensus that the new york occupation itself, will call on the global occupation, to call for a constitutional amendment to separate business and state. so it appears that there is the percolations, and who knows if the occupation's crazy, you don't know what a given city or given group is going to do, but it appears in early 2012, there are indications that the occupation may steer towards an agenda, certainly close to my heart, sn. and i wanted to share with you guys the language of their amendment. because sincerely, i actually find it to be the most digestible and rationale of any amendment i've read so far.
they say, we demand a constitutional amendment "to firmly establish that money is not speech, that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights, and that the rights of human beings will never again be granted to fictitious intent 'tintentties or property." this is remarkably understandable, and remarkably rationale. a fictitious corporation is an entity, it's not a person. and money clearly is property, not speech. your thoughts on the potential for a movement of the occupation from undefined outrage to focused agenda around getting money out of politics? >> well, that's it. i mean, is this a demand? >> yeah. >> are we finally -- i think it would be inappropriate. this is one occupation on one night, introducing an idea, an influential one. i think it will be interesting to see whether they make this a demand. >> you know what it depends on? what it depends on, really, is how the immediate covers it. i mean, how much attention does it get?
because the success that the occupation has really had thus far is in changing the conversation. even though they haven't had a specific set of demands, they have moved the conversation forward on social mobility, on income inequality, on jobs, on unemployment. they have already done that, so if there's a conversation -- >> i've sat here, debating banks in 2010, debating health care in 2009. basically became so -- i'm like, this is a joke. i'm making a fool out of myself by going on tv. meanwhile, there's $600 million to buy off the banks, $600 million to buy off the health care. and i wonder whether this is an indication that the ambient frustration that the occupation is arriving at the the same conclusion, so many other people have. >> you can't fix the problems without this. >> right. >> you can't look at it objectively and not think that you have to go to a constitutional amendment. >> this is the first step. >> and the political media doesn't cover events and policies, it covers narratives. there was a false narrative, these people don't stand for anything. from day one, they stood for a broad critique about the way they felt government was
captured by business. here we're talking about the details of that. >> they've got the amendment in new york. >> how to do policy, but they've always stood for this. i think that was clear from the first signs. and i think people who said otherwise, particularly in the media, didn't understand it and didn't want to deal the with it. >> interesting, zuccotti park last night. interesting if other occupations do this. the next month will be critical for the occupation in that regard. because this gives them something to be for. the panelist stays. up next, our specialist explains what a zombie bank and how we can jolt capitalism back to life. whee whee wheeeeeeeeeeee-he-he-heeeeee! whee whee wheeeeeeeeeeee! pure adrenaline. whee whee wheeeeeeeeeeee! everything you love about geico, now mobile. download the new geico app today. whee wheeeeeeeeeeee-he-he-heeeeee!
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today's specialist knows what's wrong with our global markets, and why we don't see the job creation we ought see, we don't have a functioning capital market. we don't have a financial system that's been pushing money into the system. in fact, we've been taken over what he calls zombie banks. those that feed off of an endless supply of invented money in our central banks. think, yes, "night of the living dead," if they were banksters!
these specially privileged uniquely endowed zombie banks not only are dead broke, they owe more than they have and they are demanding that we continue to feed their $700 trillion secretly run credit insurance casino. all of this prevents us from having investment in our country and the disease has spread to e other countries, one of them being greece, who's drowning in debt. it threatens to take down the entire euro zone. germany, france, how could this be? the economy in greece is smaller than dallas-ft. worth, it's a joke. joining us now, a man with a plan. financial reporter for bloomberg news and the zombie banks are here. you're on a set which is in the going to give you a lot of pushback as to whether the big banks are helping you. what do you recommend? how do we? what is the greatest symptom of the screwed up banking system on
the street? is it the joblessness? what is it? and how do we address it? >> it is the joblessness, one of them, but there are many other problems that they cause. we have zombie banks in history, we had them in japan, we had them in the u.s. in the '80s. and until we dealt with them -- >> the problem is they suck all the money. >> they suck money. and when we finally address the issue, the taxpayer ends up paying double, three times, four times more. so we end up with the bill, always, and we pay more. but meanwhile, because this is so global, it's european banks, it's u.s. banks, and the world economy is caught in a spiral, which it can't get out of. i mean, we're talking about -- >> it can get out of it. it can get out of it. you've just got to cancel the debt. the mathematical opposite of canceling mon printing money is canceling debt. if can i print money out of thin air, i can delete a few zeros on
the way out. >> we need serious debt restructuring, in u.s. and europe. in the u.s., we have mortgage debt that needs to be restructured. but we can't do those because we have these zombie banks that are so week that if we did the restructuring, they would fall apart. they would collapse. >> so yalman, if i take the premise that we have zombie banks. i'm sure we have lots of them, not as many as we had two years ago. we have them in europe -- >> you can't even tell sometimes. >> you can't tell. but is the alternative to allow these banks to fail -- i mean, obviously the alternative is to allow them to fail. the policy is that there would be too much pain in letting banks fail. >> the reason they're always kept alive is the contagion fear, that you let one fail, like what happened in the case of lehman, there were so many other problems, the credit crunch, et cetera. but especially now, we have in the u.s. and in europe, they do
too, systems where we can deal with these banks. we can seize them, shut them down. we have certain resolutional authorities. >> a containment apparatus. >> and even before dodd/frank, there were always ways to really take over and do something. we've done them a million times. i mean, the the too big to fail, and we can't, there are no legal ways to do it. i never buy that. there are always ways for the governments to really seize those banks, shut them down -- >> they control the banker's charter. >> sell the good stuff and get rid of the bad stuff over time without hurting the rest of the financial system. >> speaking of dodd/frank, if you go back to that time, if you could have any bill that you wanted, do anything that you could do, what would you have put in it? and the legislators that were involved claim that now there is no too big to fail, that they have a resolution path, et cetera, et cetera. what is your assessment of that? how good of a job did they do? >> my biggest contention with dodd/frank is it's way too long, way too complicated.
the bill is almost 2,000 pages, but the rules that the regulators are trying to write for to comply are thousands and thousands of pages. and you cannot really implement such complicated rules. it never works. it's too complicated. >> you need one rule. >> one rule. >> capital requirements. >> very simple. a couple of rules. one, we can bring glass-steagall, which separate investment banking from commercial banking. two, we could have strict limits on how big banks can again. studies that i include in my book that i looked at while i was researching, beyond assets, there are no economies of scale. why are that so large? >> it's the same question as to why would you allow the swaps market, the credit insurance market to exist in a private market when every other security on the earth is traded on an exchange with the exception, maybe, of some weird gold market
somewhere in the middle east. >> anyway, go ahead, ari. >> how did your sources react to the book? >> most of them are not shocked about the findings. you know, my banking friends, some of them disagree with certain parts of it. but overall, i don't think there's anyone that realizes we really have not fixed the banking issue, the problem. >> it's got to mean something when mike mayo, who used to -- mike mayo, who was really, certainly when i was a financial reporter at bloomberg, whatever, i guess it was ten years ago, maybe the most influential banking analyst on wall street, would you not say? certainly two or three of them. one of the smartest, most respected. mike mayo really was the gold standard for the narrative on the financial industry. and when mike mayo comes out with a book, which he has, which has a similar narrative to what you have in "zombie banks," a similar narrative to "greedy bastard$!" and all the other books that are addressing this, it has to mean something.
i look at mike mayo as like a neighbor of the family. we're like neighbors. mike mayo's like, they're my parents, and this is crazy. >> it's true. and there are several bank analysts in my book that highlight these things too. one of them says the biggest -- the too big to fail banks, they're just too big to manage. they're too complicated. how can you really do with a $2 trillion -- and that's just the balance sheet -- you add another $1 trillion off the balance sheet, $3 trillion. how do you deal with that? how do you run that? >> and how do you do it also when you can't even see the risk is. no one can brief me as to what the risk is. the ceo doesn't know what the risk is, the board of directors has no idea what the risk is, no one knows what the risk is because everything's being run in a black hole. this is wonderful, and i think that the conversation's certainly come a long way in the past few years, and hopefully that will be the beginning of actually being able to resolve the banks in some fashion over the next five years without feeling the need to destroy or attack or anything.
you just need to fix it. nice to see you guys. >> thanks very much. >> have a good weekend. congrats on the toy and thanks for the book. up next, new research providing new insight into the life of a dog. ♪ you ain't nothing but a hound dog, crying all the time ♪ this is an rc robotic claw. my high school science teacher made me what i am today. our science teacher helped us build it. ♪ now i'm a geologist at chevron, and i get to help science teachers. it has four servo motors and a wireless microcontroller.
well, dogs have always been called man's best friend. we know this, and as many dog the owners attest to, they sometimes have an uncanny ability to anticipate what us humans are feeling or what are going to do. while you may believe your fury friends can read your mind, some researchers are saying they're just very perceptive to your behavior. canines have the ability to track small eye movements and anticipate what it is we're going to do. up until now, that type of behavior was only attributed to 6-month-old infants. now they say that a dog's social skills are actually able to reach that of a 2-year-old child. they say the only difference is ability of the dog to speak, and
we do not mean bark pop to put that into perspective, this one, from one of my producers, says 11-year-old dog and his 2-year-old daughter together. the only difference in their social skills, apparently, is that she can talk and he can't. and then here is my best friend and an advocate, i might add, for the 99%, marvin the boxer is my pup. he was actually down at zuccotti park occupy. that's marvin at the occupation. you can see he was very protesty. in fact, there are a lot of canine companions among members of our team. researchers say this all could be because dogs were first domesticed animals for no apparent benefit, such as food or herding, and we do not want to leave our cat fans out. very quickly, researchers do suspect that they may also be able to read human intent, because of how loving -- or how long they have lived among us. maybe how loving they are. so whether you're a cat or a dog person, our pets, of course, always part of our family, which reminds me -- look at marvin, he's so cute guy. marvin, get off the couch.
i don't know if he watches the show in the afternoon, but he could. when we come back, why there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the situation. well, maybe not this one. [ sniffs ] i have a cold. [ sniffs ] i took dayquil but my nose is still runny. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ deep breath] awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is. that's the cold truth! prego?! but i've been buying ragu for years. [ thinking ] i wonder what other questionable choices i've made? [ '80s dance music plays ] [ sighs ] [ male announcer ] choose taste. choose prego.
those situations are and how you relate to them matters a lot. he says, on a small level, it might just earn you a free hotel room and on a big level provide you with a heck of a lot more. with us is sam summers, author of "situation matters." i would argue, professor, there is nothing revolution in your assertion that situations matter and context matters. i think most people would agree though that assertion. i think what's probably most interesting here is your analysis of how one is to observe the environment, how am i to observe my contacts, and how do you suggest we make decisions in that environment to better serve ourselves and those around us? >> i think that's fair. i don't think it's a revolutionary concept at some level. i do think we're not aware of the extent to which this is true. yes, okay, context matters, situations matter. but we still really think of the people in our social universe in
terms of really stable personality types. and we really do overlook the degree to which these situations overlook the people we -- >> so you're saying i have an unstable personality and i think i have a stable personality. what do you mean, stable personality? >> i'm not accusing you of being an unstable personality. >> okay, you might have. >> what i'm suggesting, we see someone behave and we think, that's because they're that type of guy. that lets us predict how they're going to behave in the future. >> because, i know that kind of guy, one of those guys. >> right. that simplifies the world, makes thing more predictable. >> oh, like barack obama, he's a liberal, or he's a conservative. >> right, i have a hypothetical talk show host having a rant about taxation on youtube and think, that guy's a hothead. but there's more to it. >> what is the more to it? >> the more to it is the where we are, the who we're, the what's going on in our lives when we have an interaction. bad behavior is not just bad
apples, it's quite often normal people in situations and circumstances that are pushing them in different directions. >> are you creating a pathway to excuse bad behavior by saying that? >> no -- >> oh, well, it wasn't my fault. it was because i hadn't slept and woke up on the wrong side of the bed. >> the point of the book, not at all to exonerate people, but to understand the real nature of human nature, it's about being a more effective person, so you can predict how people are going to behave, you can understand where they're coming from. >> so give me an example of a contextual situation that poorly analyzed might result in some awfulness and well with analyzed might result in some wonderfulness. >> in some wonderfulness. take average customer service interaction. we've all had bad ones, some good ones, but bad ones. you're standing in that line and you need the luggage back or
your voucher back and it's so easy to get upset with that person on the other end of the phone. they're standing in your way, they're intractable, we have this knee-jerk reaction. we start to fly off thane handl. take a step back and observe what's going on in the context -- >> so let's picture myself at the counter at the airline, and i'm screwed 50 ways, pick your version, whatever it is. and i feel frustrated by the person at the counter and my inclination is to say, well, this person is being difficult -- >> start yelling and stomp off. the book actually starts with my story of getting ready to stomp off, and instead, try to play it more cold-blooded, figure out what's going on, figure what the policy is that i'm up against here, and through that conversation -- >> give me the example. >> we had this long chat finally, and i said, i can't believe this is really out of your hands, that the policy is out of your hands. you're not going to let the old lady in line behind me spend the night in the airport, right? and she said, well, if you were
ill, mr. somers, we'd make an exception. and i said, well, actually, my wife over there, she's two months pregnant and you're going -- >> and pregnancy's kind of an illness. >> there you go, why not. temporary, with long lasting effects. so things went a lot better from that point of view. the book's not all about manipulating people or trying to find loopholes -- >> or using your pregnant wife to get free hotels. >> it's a general principle, take a step back and not have the knee-jerk reaction we always have. >> are there specific cues that you point to in the book? >> absolutely. one of them, are you around other people, we're very different individuals when we're with a group of people or in a crowd than when we're by ourself. it's very easy to write someone off as being apathetic or indifferent when they sit there in a crowd and don't do anything. in a reality, all of us are like that in crowds. there are ways you can fight
through that apathy and make people more personally accountable. >> so let's apply this to the electoral process. image you're a hypothetical person inside a of a process that's a gerrymandered electoral district that's drawn by your own people so 75% of the time, no matter what anyone does, you keep your job like a king. then i have a closed primary system inside those gerrymandered districts where only the most extreme voices participate and only those who are able to solicit the money to either annihilate their opponent or become a candidate survive. and after i make it through the gerrymandered districts and the closed primary system, i launch into a lesser of two evils national voting apparatus that is dominated by the ability to raise large sums of money to annihilate a certain individual, as mitt romney did to newt gingrich in iowa. contextu contextually, can someone in that system actually make reasonable decisions or host reasonable debate at national policy? >> the hypothetical seemed very real --
>> you have to fantasize about this to really get a sense of it. >> i understand. even ploox, this enormously important set of decisions we're going to be making, it's all very contextual. this is a context in which it's tough to make an independent, individual person's voice heard, right? and everything about the way these elections are covered and portrayed to us is this contextual shield that we're not always paying attention. go back to the earliest example in the new media era for politics, the nixon and kennedy debate, people on the radio think that nixon won, people on tv think that kennedy won. it's all very contextually driven. and we get tied up in the narrative and see these candidates as being -- >> but in the context of that personality type, in the context of a gerrymandered district with closed primaries and an auction-based democracy, can any individual in that situation really behave so far outside of that context that they're actually addressing the interest of 300 million americans instead
of the 455 people who get to dictate everything americans get t to do. >> i think it's a tough question. the one who can emerge from that gerrymandered -- it's one of the frustrations that a lot of us have, i think, with the political process. so understanding the constraints on what we can and can't do in that system is the first step to get people to be more active in these movements that we're seeing now. >> well, congratulations on this. and i hope through my very subtle advocacy there, i've convinced you that we need to pass a constitutional amendment to separate business and state. that's kind of what i was doing. >> i saw where that might be going. >> there's the context. >> i understand. >> sam, it's a pleasure. congratulations on this. the book "situations matter: understanding how context transforms your world." next up on "hardball" here, chris one on one with newt gingrich. i wonder about how he feels by being annihilated by a pile of secret money back in iowa. probably not super happy about it. but still to come this hour,
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imogen lloyd webber with us a friday rant. >> thank you, dylan. i wager that we have been bombarded this week with more commercials devoted to new year, new you diet plans than the iowa caucuses. running the free world is complicated and merits coverage. and it's essential that the minority who struggle to lose weight because of medical conditions hear about them. i once had a thyroid problem and was stuck about 30 pounds heavier than i am now for years. happily, through my research, i'm cured for now.
i'm joined the majority for whom getting healthy is not rocket science. however, the american diet industry, which is worth more than $60 billion a year, tries to persuade us otherwise. this week, merksamerica's 75 mi dieters were subjected to a multitude of air brushed celebrities promising the holy grail, easy weight loss. deep down, we know this is impossible. the key to losing weight, eat less, exercise more. to maintaining, everything in moderation, including exercise. diets are dull, but perhaps because they make us duller, we allow ourselves to be led on a perpetual but futile search for a magic wand, desperately following diet fads is nothing new. our low-carb atkins diet had a predecessor, banting. the 1700 version of spanx were
whale boned corsets. one of lord byron's diet plans included drinking only clarett and water. history did come up with what has been called the best diet ever invented. unlike many a diet pill, it had the science behind it. it was the british diet during world war ii. my embattled home aisle was forced to become self-sufficient. the brits' food was rationed and they strictly adhered to this nutritional guidance. for my grandmother and her generation, there was no snacking. obeying the government's dig for victory campaign, they grew as much of their own food as they could. the british population emerged healthier from the war than it had ever been before. now it is more obese. the cheapest, most effective diet is, of course, our common sense. will power. the strength not to let you or others sabotage yourself. dylan displayed in his interview with the new york observer this week that he's got the right
idea. he sought advice from deepak chopra after the stress caused by the world's greedy bastards led him to gain 25 pounds and start smoking again. we can only exercise the most attractive part of our bodies, our brains. dylan? >> it is true, everything you just said is absolutely true. it will be interesting to see whether my own personal quest to expand my own consciousness, if you will, the pursuit of an awakening and an ability to see the world in a very vibrantory and cohesive way will result in weight loss. deepak's got a thing going. imagine if one of the benefits of enlightenment -- skinniness. >> may be. but i think it is to a certain exte extent. it's all that discipline and being happy in you. and all of us undisciplined and have fallen off the new year's
resolution. my resolution was out of the window by monday. you suggest you didn't have control over your own intent. >> i think you've been talking to deepak chopra. i was like, accidentally -- i just found myself there. >> happy new year to you. >> and you. >> whatever your resolutions may be. and with that said, as you hopefully know, and if you toent, we are teeing up for a thrilling week next week with the launch of my first ever and maybe last ever book, as writing it was an unadulterated nightmare, but it is certainly a product that i'm actually very proud of, and i think it's a great observation and assessment of what really is at the core of everything that we're talking about, which is money purchasing policy to misalign the interests of the powerful against the rest of us. the book itself, here it is, out on tuesday on amazon, barnes & noble, books a million across the countr